EVERYONE, your opinions PLEASE


March 21, 2008, 03:05 AM
Hello to everyone,
Ive been looking to getting into reloading/handloading for quite some time, I love shooting. Period. But it is quite expensive these days to shoot my 500S&W, 300 Win Mag, 454 Casull, so heres my question: I want to know what experiences everyone has had with their equipment so I feel confident in what I finally decide on. Ive been looking into: Hornadys equipment, RCBS (Rock Chuckar) and the Lyman Crusher II.

Anything Helps.

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Steve C
March 21, 2008, 03:40 AM
All 3 are good heavy duty machines. The Hornady is a bit quicker to change dies with its snap in (and out) die holders but you need to buy more die holders since the press only comes with a couple (if that many).

Pick any of the ones you list and you will be well served. I'd pick the one with the best price and quickest availability.

March 21, 2008, 03:44 AM
The first thing that you should do is buy the ABCs of reloading, and a lot of your questions will be answered.

You are shooting big expensive calibers, and the ouylay for bullets, powder and supplies will be on the upper fringe, of material cost.

I think that a single stage press such as the Rock Chucker, is a great way to start.

March 21, 2008, 03:49 AM
My only experience is with the Rock Chucker. I like it. I've been doing 9mm, 45acp and .223. Works great.

March 21, 2008, 04:09 AM
The RCBS Rockchucker has been around since late 1930's in one form or another. You can't go wrong with it and, you can't wear it out.

I have an original Model "A" press (Verrry early, pre-RCBS, probably 1940's) that still works like new.

March 21, 2008, 06:17 AM
Frist i would get copy of ABC's in reloading then i would find someone who has been reloading for long time to help out.the cost can break the bank if you don't where to look. myself i like [shooter supply] for all my reloading needs.They have it all and won't break you.I like lee reloading that just me that i started with.

March 21, 2008, 07:43 AM
I started my reloading life with the Lyman turret press, evolved to the Rock Crusher, which I used for several years. Then I discovered the Lee Classic Cast Turret, which with the additional optional primer setup, I find to be perfect.

I also had a Hornady ProJector press, which was an early iteration of a progressive. It had issues. I love Hornady bullets, but I don't particularly care for their reloading tools in general.

Of those you listed, I'd go with the RockChucker.

Of those you didn't list, I'd definitely choose the Lee Classic Cast Turret Press. Many features, one low price.

March 21, 2008, 07:43 AM
I just started reloading a couple of months ago.There is alot of books,and alot of people reloading that will help you get started.I love shooting what I reload.Have fun and be safe.

March 21, 2008, 08:06 AM
The ABCs of Reloading will help you out a lot. Also, take a look at Sierra's Reloading Videos by Tubbs. You can get both items from Cabelas.

Any quality single stage press will serve you well. I started with and use a Lyman Turret Press. I also had some help putting together my equipment list. I didn't really waste any money, but their were a few things that I bought later that wouldn't buy again. That is only because I found other tools that were more useful.

With the calibers that you are reloading, you should be able to shave the costs quite a bit.

March 21, 2008, 08:08 AM
I know you asked about Lyman, RCBS, and Hornady and all three are excellent. Since you are looking at spending some pretty good money on those machines, plus loading components as Neal 7250 said, may I suggest instead a Lee Classic or Lee CLassic Cast single-stage press? It's a heavy-duty O-style press and will handle those big cigar-like .500s with no problem. It would help keep your initial start-up cost a little lower on the equipment end. I have and enjoy my Lee turret press for loading .38/.357 and 9mm, and would not feel at all underpowered trying to make larger calibers on it should I ever want to do it.


evan price
March 21, 2008, 08:54 AM
I strongly advise people that will be doing multiple different calibers to try a turret press- the reason is that you only need to setup your dies once when initially installing the turret plate for that caliber- then, when you change calibers, just pull off the turret and drop on the new turret, no need to unscrew and re-setup your dies, or screw with bayonet bushings.

Lee's turret press is as good as a rock chucker for less cost with a good turret setup.

March 21, 2008, 09:11 AM
The most expensive equipment is equipment that doesn't meet your need.

1) How many rounds do you shoot a month?

2) How much time to you want to spend?

3) Are you a plinker or bench rester?

Single stage presses work great for some things but not for others. Die changes are not a problem once set up, but the extra stations in a turret are sure handy.

Based on the calibers you listed, I'm guessing you can afford a decent LEE press and RCBS die sets. Do yourself a favor and attend a reloading class BEFORE you choose what "color" to buy.


March 21, 2008, 09:21 AM
Be sure and temper your selection based on how much shooting you plan to do. A single stage for handgun is money wasted if you find yourself buying a progressive a month and a half down the road.
I do not think any of the reloading machine companies produce junk. No one has mentioned Dillon, so I will. There is no better company, and there are no better machines. You can spend less money.
I still load for big rifle with an old Lyman Spartan single stage machine, and I use a good powder measure, and I check charges frequently. A screw up with a hangun can be bad, but a screw up with that Winchester .300 and they can be looking for pieces of the gun and you for quite a while.
Good luck.

March 21, 2008, 09:37 AM
No one has mentioned Dillon, so I will. There is no better company, and there are no better machines.

I bought a Dillion 650 as my first setup following a reloading class. You're right, they're great - but they are not flexible and they are pricey. You pretty much need a bucket of brass as a minimum run.

Next I got a used RCBS Rock Chucker for $20 and spent a day rebuilding it, and then figured out that it was too slow for my weekly habit.

Next I got a Redding T7 - No comparison, 7 stations, outstanding fit and finish and a couple hundred rounds in an hour or so. Two or three die sets in the turret at one time, in 1/4 the footprint of my Dillon.

I shoulda just bought the Redding in the first place.


The Bushmaster
March 21, 2008, 10:06 AM
My recommendation? Lee Classic Cast [Iron] Turret, several turret plates and a good "O" single stage press for those odd jobs and rifle. You will find both very useful...

March 21, 2008, 11:03 AM
Here's one place to start:

I could tell you what I use, but that'd be just one more "I like my stuff so you will too," reply. The best advice I got came from guys I met at my local range - guys who've been reloading for years. Some even invited me to their home to see and to try their equipment. That's the only way to know for yourself before shelling out $$ for reloading equipment.

Here's another resource:
Plug in the first # of you zip code and look up an NRA reloading instructor in your area... then give one or two a call.

Welcome to the hobby. Have fun and be safe.

March 21, 2008, 01:33 PM
I love Dillon machines. I own and operate three of them. I also own and operate the first press that I ever owned, witch is a Rock Chucker. Dillon as far as I'm concerned is the best that there is. But untill you have a good idea of what you're getting to, I recommend that you start off with a single stage setup.;)

Vern Humphrey
March 21, 2008, 01:36 PM
I recommend a turret press. The added cost isn't that much over the long haul, and a turret press is a great advantage -- you don't have to switch dies between operations, and you can leave two calibers set up at one time.

March 22, 2008, 01:17 AM
I bought an RCBS Rock Chucker press in the early 1980s and still have and use it at times. I've loaded thousands of rounds with it; everything from 44 Rem. Mag. to 458 Lott.

The press I use most now is the Redding T-7 turret press which I can highly recommend. I have most of the holes full most of the time with various reloading projects.

tasco 74
March 22, 2008, 03:10 PM
if you are just beginning to reload i strongly suggest you get a good cast single stage press... i've reloaded for about 25 years and still use the same single stage press i started with.... i have added another single stage press to my bench right beside the first one but i do things a little differently than most... when i got my lee speed die i got an extra die body too so i use both presses at the same time... works for me!

Vern Humphrey
March 22, 2008, 03:11 PM
I disagree -- I can't think of any disadvantages to a good turret press.

March 22, 2008, 05:46 PM
I agree with the turret press. The Lee classic turret press can be used as a single stage press or has auto indexing so when you load pistol rounds you can have a decent production. After a couple of weeks getting used to my classic turret I was making 200 RPH for pistol without trying to hurry, just a comfortable pace.



March 22, 2008, 06:08 PM
Wise of you to explore your options!

My first press was a Hornady progressive. I subsequently bought a single stage (and another lnl progressive). I never had any real problems or issues using the equipment nor any regrets on my purchases. Just about all the equipment available is very good quality.

I knew no other reloaders at that time nor, unfortunately, about this forum. But I second their advice about reading, reading, reading up on it before you start on this very fun hobby.

Good Luck!!!

March 22, 2008, 06:12 PM
I'd like to also second (third?) the recommendation for a Lee Classic Turret Press. I just started reloading six months ago (with much help from folks like RusyFN) and use this press for 9mm, .223, and .308. While I like to go as fast as I can when reloading 9mm, I take my time with .223 and .308. I remove the indexing rod and load single stage. While it's probably not quite as precise as my friend's Redding single stage, it will make ammunition that is better than my ability to shoot it.

If you do decide to go with this or any other Lee product, be sure to check out Kempf's Gun Shop. They have very good prices and truly amazing customer service. Sue will make sure you get everything you need to get started and then spend time on the phone setting you up.


Good luck.

March 22, 2008, 06:53 PM
Kempf is very good to deal with, I just bought a 45 ACP die set and turret from them today.

Big Boomer
March 23, 2008, 01:07 AM
Rock Chucker man here...great equipment I load all the above and more. I'm a slow meticulous loader and very safe. I have a lot of RCBS equipment and am very happy with it.

April 5, 2008, 06:03 PM
You can also buy ABCs of reloading from amazon used :)


April 5, 2008, 11:36 PM
Based on the cartridges mentioned, I'd venture that massive quantities of ammo are not needed, and a progressive press would not be needed. A turret press might be warranted, but their productivity is nullified if you reload in batch, and/or perform one or more operations off the press (trimming, priming, dumping powder, etc.).

Therefore, and particularly for a new reloader, I would recommend a single stage press. I have and like the Forster Co-Ax. It has a snap in, snap out, floating die retention system, universal shell holder, excellent spent primer handling and on-press priming (accurate, but tedious) and I prefer the over-the-top handle movement. Its design and construction makes for an extremely smooth, strong, and accurate press.

Other fine, more traditional presses include the Redding Big Boss II and UltraMag, and if you're on a tight budget, the Lee Classic Cast.


April 6, 2008, 09:34 PM
My personal preference would be all RCBS hands down.Not only do they make quality products but they have the best customer service that I have ever used. A company that makes me feel like a valued customer and sells some of the best products on the market will always get my money. I have had such good service from them that I have even gotten rid of other mfgrs products and bought RCBS as I can afford them.

April 8, 2008, 04:44 AM
I don't believe you can go wrong with any of the three you mentioned.
Read up and start with a single stage
is my advice also.
Your personal shooting and reloading profile will evolve. You can add more
complex equipment to suit along the way.

April 9, 2008, 12:39 AM
I started with a Rockchucker and put Hornady's press conversion bushing kit on it. Money well spent in time savings. Now the dies are all set, just pop em in and go.

I was skeptical at first, now I'm a beleiver, they work well.

April 9, 2008, 11:42 AM
Any of the 3 the original poster mentioned would be fine -- I'd avoid Lee unless you are on a VERY tight budget. Lee products work OK, but if you think you may be doing this for quite a while, or prefer less headaches, I'd avoid them.

I personally like Hornady (I bought a progressive AP recently), but their single stage press is also very nice (I might get one of those on down the line too) ... includes the Lock n Load bushing system, and I believe they are offering 500 free bullets (worth about 140 bucks retail) if you buy the kit, which includes all the stuff you need to get started except dies (good scale, excellent powder measure, press, primer flip tray, reloading manual, etc.). They are offering 100 free bullets for each die set. If you just buy the press, they are offering 100 bullets for that.

The RockChucker is a high quality unit, and the Lyman is as well. I've seen both used by guys that inherited them from their fathers, still work fine. Dies from Hornady, RCBS, Lyman, or Redding are all high quality.

Oh, and if you are looking at a turret, the Lyman T-Mag is great. Redding also makes excellent equipment.

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